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EAS443 Finite Element Analysis of Aerospace Structures SUSS Assignment Sample Singapore

The EAS443 Finite Element Analysis of Aerospace Structures course provides an opportunity to explore the incredible strength and performance capabilities of modern aircraft. Students will be given a comprehensive overview of the fundamental principles governing aerospace design, advanced techniques for the analysis and testing of structural components in all areas, and the tools required to understand stress limits and failure criteria for aircraft parts.

With this knowledge, professionals in the field are able to develop stronger and more efficient designs that can meet ever-evolving market demands. Whether you’re just starting out or already have experience in aerospace engineering, this course has something to offer everyone.

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Let’s dive into the assignment tasks ahead of us. Specifically, we’ll be discussing:

Assignment Task 1: Appraise fundamental concepts of solid mechanics for finite element formulations.

Solid mechanics is a branch of mechanics that deals with the behavior of solid materials under the action of external forces. Finite element formulations are widely used in solid mechanics for solving problems related to stress, strain, and deformation of solid bodies. The fundamental concepts of solid mechanics that are relevant to finite element formulations include:

  1. Stress: Stress is the internal force per unit area acting on a solid material due to external forces. It is a tensor quantity that describes the distribution of forces within a material. In finite element formulations, stress is often calculated using constitutive equations that relate stress to strain.
  2. Strain: Strain is the deformation of a solid material due to external forces. It is a tensor quantity that describes the change in shape or size of a material. In finite element formulations, strain is often used to calculate stress using constitutive equations.
  3. Constitutive equations: Constitutive equations are mathematical models that relate stress to strain. They are used to describe the behavior of a material under different loading conditions, such as tension, compression, and shear. In finite element formulations, constitutive equations are used to calculate stress and strain at each element.
  4. Elasticity: Elasticity is the ability of a material to return to its original shape after deformation. Materials that exhibit elasticity are called elastic materials. In finite element formulations, the elasticity of a material is often described using linear elastic models.
  5. Plasticity: Plasticity is the ability of a material to undergo permanent deformation without breaking. Materials that exhibit plasticity are called plastic materials. In finite element formulations, plasticity is often described using nonlinear models that account for the strain hardening of the material.
  6. Finite element method: The finite element method is a numerical technique used to solve problems in solid mechanics. It involves dividing a complex solid body into smaller, simpler elements and solving for the stresses and strains at each element. In finite element formulations, the finite element method is used to solve for the displacement, strain, and stress fields within a solid body.

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Assignment Task 2: Formulate governing equations for basic finite elements including springs, bars, beams, frames, two-dimensional and three-dimensional solid elements.

Governing equations for basic finite elements can be formulated using the principle of minimum potential energy or the principle of virtual work. These principles state that the potential energy of a system in equilibrium must be minimized, or that the work done by the external forces on the system must be equal to the work done by the internal forces. The equations for each element are:

  1. Springs:

The force-displacement relation for a linear spring can be written as:

F = kx

where F is the force, k is the spring constant, and x is the displacement.

  1. Bars:

The strain-displacement relation for a linear bar can be written as:

ε = du/dx

where ε is the strain, u is the displacement, and x is the position along the bar.

The stress-strain relation for a linear elastic bar can be written as:

σ = Eε

where σ is the stress, E is the Young’s modulus, and ε is the strain.

  1. Beams:

The deflection-displacement relation for a linear beam can be written as:

w = u(x,y)

where w is the deflection, u is the displacement, and (x,y) is the position along the beam.

The bending moment-curvature relation for a linear beam can be written as:

M = EI d²w/dx²

where M is the bending moment, E is the Young’s modulus, I is the moment of inertia, and d²w/dx² is the curvature.

  1. Frames:

The displacement-displacement relation for a linear frame can be written as:

u = [u1, u2, …, un]T

where u is the displacement vector, n is the number of nodes, and T represents the transpose.

The stiffness matrix for a linear frame can be written as:

K = [k1+k2, -k2, …, 0; -k2, k2+k3, …, 0; …, 0, 0, kn-1+kn]

where ki is the stiffness of the ith element and K is the global stiffness matrix.

  1. Two-dimensional solid elements:

The displacement-strain relation for a linear triangular element can be written as:

ε = B u

where ε is the strain vector, B is the strain-displacement matrix, and u is the displacement vector.

The stress-strain relation for a linear elastic element can be written as:

σ = D ε

where σ is the stress vector, D is the elastic matrix, and ε is the strain vector.

  1. Three-dimensional solid elements:

The displacement-strain relation for a linear tetrahedral element can be written as:

ε = B u

where ε is the strain vector, B is the strain-displacement matrix, and u is the displacement vector.

The stress-strain relation for a linear elastic element can be written as:

σ = D ε

where σ is the stress vector, D is the elastic matrix, and ε is the strain vector.

In each case, the governing equations can be used to solve for the unknowns in the problem, such as the displacements, stresses, and strains, given the applied loads and boundary conditions.

Assignment Task 3: Calculate benchmark problems manually by following the general steps of the FEM.

 

The Finite Element Method (FEM) is a numerical method used to approximate solutions to partial differential equations (PDEs) in engineering and science. It divides a complex problem into smaller, simpler parts, called finite elements. These elements are connected to each other to form a larger system, and each element can be represented by a set of equations. The method involves four main steps:

  1. Discretization: Divide the problem domain into finite elements and represent each element using a finite number of nodes. Each node has a corresponding degree of freedom, which represents the displacement or temperature or pressure, etc. at that point.
  2. Formulation of the governing equations: Write the governing equations that describe the behavior of the system, such as the balance of forces or energy.
  3. Assembly of the global stiffness matrix and load vector: Assemble the element equations to obtain a global system of equations. The stiffness matrix describes the relationship between the displacements at different nodes, while the load vector represents the external forces or heat sources acting on the system.
  4. Solution: Solve the system of equations to obtain the nodal displacements or other quantities of interest.

To solve benchmark problems using the FEM, we can follow these general steps:

  1. Define the problem geometry and boundary conditions. This step involves specifying the dimensions and shape of the problem domain, as well as the boundary conditions such as the applied forces, temperatures, or other physical constraints.
  2. Discretize the problem domain into finite elements. This step involves dividing the problem domain into smaller, simpler parts using mathematical shapes such as triangles or quadrilaterals in 2D or tetrahedrons or hexahedrons in 3D.
  3. Formulate the governing equations for each element. This step involves writing the equations that describe the behavior of each element, such as the stiffness matrix and load vector, using mathematical principles such as the principle of virtual work.
  4. Assemble the global stiffness matrix and load vector. This step involves combining the element equations to form a system of equations that describes the behavior of the entire system.
  5. Apply boundary conditions and solve the system of equations. This step involves applying the boundary conditions to the system of equations and solving for the nodal displacements or other quantities of interest.
  6. Analyze the results and refine the solution if necessary. This step involves analyzing the solution to ensure it is accurate and making adjustments as needed to improve the accuracy.

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Assignment Task 4: Construct mesh discretization of an aerospace structure for finite element analysis.

Mesh discretization is a crucial step in finite element analysis (FEA) as it determines the accuracy and efficiency of the analysis. The following steps can be used to construct a mesh for an aerospace structure:

  1. Generate a geometric model: The first step is to generate a geometric model of the aerospace structure using a computer-aided design (CAD) software. The model should be created in a format that can be imported into a finite element analysis software.
  2. Determine the element type: The element type used for the analysis should be chosen based on the characteristics of the structure and the analysis objectives. Common element types used for aerospace structures include quadrilateral elements for planar structures and hexahedral elements for three-dimensional structures.
  3. Define the element size: The element size should be chosen based on the level of accuracy required and the computational resources available. A smaller element size will provide a more accurate analysis but will require more computational resources.
  4. Create the mesh: The mesh can be created using an automated meshing tool or manually by defining the nodes and elements. The mesh should be constructed in a way that avoids skewness, element distortion, and element aspect ratio problems.
  5. Check the quality of the mesh: After creating the mesh, it is important to check the quality of the mesh to ensure that it is suitable for the analysis. The quality of the mesh can be checked using metrics such as element aspect ratio, skewness, and distortion.
  6. Refine the mesh: If the quality of the mesh is not satisfactory, the mesh can be refined by decreasing the element size or using a different element type. The refinement should be done in a way that maintains the structural features of the aerospace structure.
  7. Export the mesh: Once the mesh is created and refined, it should be exported in a format that can be imported into a finite element analysis software.

Assignment Task 5: Compute using simulation software for finite element analysis of aerospace engineering.

  1. ANSYS: ANSYS is one of the most popular finite element analysis software used in aerospace engineering. It has a wide range of capabilities, including structural analysis, thermal analysis, and fluid dynamics.
  2. Abaqus: Abaqus is another widely used finite element analysis software in aerospace engineering. It offers comprehensive capabilities for modeling and simulating a wide range of physical phenomena, including structural, thermal, and fluid dynamics.
  3. Nastran: Nastran is a finite element analysis software that is specifically designed for structural analysis in aerospace engineering. It has a range of capabilities for modeling and analyzing structures subjected to various loading conditions.
  4. COMSOL Multiphysics: COMSOL Multiphysics is a powerful software that can be used for a variety of applications, including aerospace engineering. It allows users to simulate and analyze a wide range of physical phenomena, including structural, thermal, and fluid dynamics.
  5. SolidWorks Simulation: SolidWorks Simulation is a finite element analysis software that is integrated with the SolidWorks CAD software. It offers a range of capabilities for simulating and analyzing structures subjected to various loading conditions.

Assignment Task 6: Experiment Verification and Validation (V&V) of finite element simulations.

Verification and validation (V&V) of finite element simulations are critical steps in ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the results obtained from these simulations. V&V involves testing and evaluating the simulation against analytical solutions or experimental data to ensure that the simulation is accurate and reliable.

Here are some steps to perform V&V of finite element simulations:

  1. Verification: This involves ensuring that the simulation is correctly implemented and solving the equations correctly. The verification process typically involves comparing the results of the simulation with analytical solutions for simple test cases. If the results of the simulation match the analytical solution, then the simulation is considered verified.
  2. Validation: This involves comparing the results of the simulation with experimental data. The validation process typically involves performing experiments on physical prototypes and comparing the results with the simulation results. If the simulation results match the experimental data, then the simulation is considered validated.
  3. Sensitivity Analysis: This involves varying the input parameters of the simulation to determine their effect on the output results. Sensitivity analysis helps to identify which input parameters are critical to the accuracy of the simulation and which can be varied without affecting the results significantly.
  4. Uncertainty Quantification: This involves quantifying the uncertainties associated with the simulation results. Uncertainty quantification helps to identify the sources of uncertainty in the simulation and estimate their impact on the results.
  5. Model Updating: This involves using the results of the V&V process to improve the accuracy of the simulation model. Model updating can involve modifying the material properties, boundary conditions, or the finite element mesh to better match the experimental data.

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